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Gerry Adams: Stormont walkout is a 'contrived crisis'

The Sinn Féin leader said the party would not accept any precondition being placed on talks aimed at defusing the crisis.

Image: Brian Lawless/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Updated 4:20pm

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has accused the DUP of manufacturing a “contrived crisis” after the party walked out of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing executive.

Speaking today on Morning Ireland, Adams questioned whether those who caused the crisis had played “into the hands of those who killed Kevin McGuigan”.

Did they not play into the hands of those who don’t want the peace process or the political process to succeed?

Adams added that Sinn Féin would not accept any precondition being placed on talks aimed at defusing the crisis.

“[UUP leader] Mike Nesbitt sits on a forum along with [DUP leader] Peter Robinson with representatives of the UVF and UDA,” he said.

Martin McGuinness doesn’t insist that he disavow that or disconnect with that.

Theresa Villiers, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, said on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme that she believes the IRA still exists, contrary to what Adams has repeatedly stated this week.

“I certainly wish the DUP had been able to find a different way to deal with this situation but I also accept it would put a huge strain on working relationships [if] a leading figure in your coalition partner is arrested in relation to a murder case,” she said.

Villiers did not rule out considering the re-introduction of a ceasefire monitoring body to ensure paramilitary organisations are fully disbanded.

She added, however, that “it wouldn’t necessarily be appropriate to set up exactly the same structure that existed in the past”.

‘Bigger picture’

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Taoiseach Enda Kenny called on Northern Irish politicians to look at “the bigger picture”.

“Young people of Northern Ireland do not want their careers and opportunities stunted by internal party politics and failure of measuring up to the responsibilities given to politicians by the people of Belfast,” he told reporters.

In an interview on Ireland AM this morning, DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson denied that the party was unwilling to take part in discussions with Sinn Féin.

“Just because our ministers have stepped aside from ministerial office doesn’t mean they won’t be at the negotiating table,” he said.

Robinson announced yesterday that he was stepping aside as Northern Ireland’s first minister.

His DUP colleague Arlene Foster has taken over as acting first minister, after the party’s bid to adjourn the assembly failed.

The crisis was sparked by the murder of former IRA member Kevin McGuigan in Belfast last month.

Police believe that current IRA members may have been involved in the killing.

Bobby Storey, Sinn Fein’s northern chairman, was released from police custody last night after his arrest in the investigation.

Storey was one of three men arrested in connection with the crime.

Additional reporting by Hugh O’Connell

Read: Bobby Storey released after arrest in Kevin McGuigan murder investigation

Read: Peter Robinson has resigned as First Minister of Northern Ireland

About the author:

Catherine Healy

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